David Game College’s Strategic Approach to tackling COVID-19
Please note: for the latest COVID -19 announcements and information please refer to the relevant sections at the bottom of this page or view our latest news section where we will keep you up to date.
Back in early March, the College set up a subcommittee of the existing Risk Committee and termed it the COVID-19 Risk Committee. This was headed by all the main Heads of Department and the Senior Management and Leadership team. It had a specific and clear brief – to ensure that the College produced and maintained a COVID-safe environment and that all necessary hygiene, social distancing and technology measures were in place, as well as the management of suspected cases and an outbreak plan.
As part of this, in late March the College swiftly and successfully transferred all learning remotely via Zoom and a full curriculum was delivered until June. Since the start of the next academic year i.e. September 2020, the whole curriculum can be accessed through live streaming, which has proven to effective and well received by those self-isolating or abroad.
The College officially re-opened in August 2020 and since then it has operated normally with a high efficacy and attendance rate. In essence, irrespective of national lockdowns, David Game College is open for education and intends to remain open for both physical and e-based operations. Students and staff feedback and audits have thus far been extremely positive.
The College has made a number of important adjustments to its operations based on policy guidance from the Covid-19 Risk Committee. Some of the key elements are highlighted and explained below:
Hygiene and social distancing measures and controls:
- Use of infrared thermometers
- Extensive use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers
- Enhanced daily continuous cleaning of the College common areas and classrooms
- Use of fogging equipment
- Use of face masks in common areas of the college
- Control of traffic flow – one-way systems
- Reconfiguration of classrooms and identifying class capacity, taking into account social distancing
- General enforced social distancing measures
- Ventilation ensured throughout the College
- PPE equipment available
- Use of plastic shields
Using infrared thermometers, temperature checks are made on all those entering the building. This technique was decided upon after careful consideration of some of the drawbacks of using thermal imaging cameras which were highlighted by the WHO. In addition, all visitors must sanitise their hands upon arrival and are asked to do this at specific stations that have been set up around the College. Enhanced cleaning is taking place daily and the College has invested in state-of-the-art fogging equipment to ensure deeper cleaning of all aspects of the College. All students and staff are required to wear face masks in all the common areas of the College and many also can elect to wear them within classrooms; some exemptions are also recognised.
In addition to the use of face masks to halt the spread of the virus through social proximity engagement, all staff and students are reminded of the necessity to maintain social distance at all times and in all circumstances. The College has a single entrance/exit system in place and extensive one-way systems are in place around the College. Using social distancing measures, all classrooms have had their safe Covid capacities worked out and displayed on the classroom door. Students are required to clean their work surfaces at the end of lessons, and windows are kept open in classrooms and on corridors to ensure adequate ventilation. All staff have access to a range of PPE, such as face visors, masks, surgical gloves and gowns. The College cleaning company has also been trained in the appropriate use of PPE and enhanced hygiene techniques.
Within key offices and communal areas (such as Receptions) plastic shields have been erected to ensure that staff can engage safely with anyone who enters their rooms or areas.
The College’s Covid-19 Risk Committee has also produced a policy guidance on the Management of Suspected Cases as well as an Outbreak Plan. As part of the management of any suspected cases, the College has created an Isolate Zone, where suspected cases can be isolated and managed away from the main student and staff body. Thankfully, the College is large (60,000 sq. ft.), so social distancing and creating isolate zones is much easier than for many schools and colleges.
Furthermore, the College also uses its extensive network of high quality digital cameras to track and check student and staff movements in 95% of the common areas of the College. Staff have been fully briefed as to the measures the College has taken, and what to do in certain circumstances. We have a highly effective internal COVID update-communicate process as part of our internal communications.
The College is audited and inspected daily by a senior member of the COVID-19 risk committee and student and staff behaviour is carefully observed to ensure compliance with basic rules and regulations.
The College has set up a dedicated email (firstname.lastname@example.org) that is available for all students and staff to ask questions and alert the College to any issues or concerns they may have.
Technology Solutions and live streaming
The College has invested heavily in, and installed in classes, high resolution cameras so that live streaming of classes can take place. In addition, all staff have access to high quality headset microphones to ensure that all sound is captured and conveyed to students. Teachers are sharing notes and PPs via Zoom and all those students who are remote can see the class teacher and experience all aspects of the class activities. Notes and additional resource materials are made available either through direct email or via Google classrooms and/or Microsoft Teams. Where a teacher is absent or has to self-isolate owing to another member of their family being suspected or having Covid, the teacher can teach the students via live streaming into the classroom so students are never denied full access to the curriculum.
Following a detailed risk assessment, the College has produced a Policy Guidance document to ensure a COVID-19 safe and secure working environment for all students, staff and visitors to the College. The College is now open for the new academic term and will make adjustments based on the government advice. The Policy Guidance is a consultative document and subject to change depending on prevailing scientific advice.
David Game College takes the safety of all those who visit and work within the College extremely seriously. This Policy Guidance document has been approved (as a working document) by our Advisory Governance Board and will be implemented from August onward.
COVID-19 Autumn Examinations Update (23.06.21)
Ofqual have confirmed the autumn assessment arrangements. Candidates who receive a teacher assessed grade this summer will be eligible to take GCSE, IGCSE AS or A level exams in the same subject in autumn 2021. We can confirm that all DGC private candidates that were issued exam credit for the June 2020 or June 2021 cancelled exam series will gain automatic entry in to the Autumn 2021 exam series This also applies to those private candidates who exam boards believe would have sat exams in summer 2021 had they not been cancelled. In addition, any private candidate who was aged at least 16 on 31 August 2021 can take the GCSE English language and maths exams, as is usually the case.
Following the consultation on arrangements for an autumn 2021 exam series, Ofqual has decided the following:
•Exam boards will have to offer exams in all GCSE / IGCSE and A level subjects and AS exams in biology, chemistry, further maths, maths and physics; exam boards will be able to offer AS exams in other subjects if they wish
•Exams will be in their normal format, with no adaptations made
•Grades will be determined by a student’s performance in an exam for all subjects, except for art and design qualifications
•AS and A level exams will be held in October 2021, while GCSE / IGCSE exams will take place in November and December 2021.
We know you will be keen to know more about the exam timetables, key dates and deadlines for this exam series; and we will update DGC website information about the registration process as soon as we receive the full details from the exam boards.
Reopening Statement (22.2.2021)
Reopening of David Game College – 8th March 2021
The Prime Minister has today confirmed the reopening of all schools and colleges in England on 8th March. The College is now making preparation for reopening, which will include the following:
1. Developing on-site protocols and procedures for twice-weekly asymptomatic testing of students within the College
2. Extensive internal cleaning of surfaces and fogging
3. Re-evaluation of classroom size in terms of social distancing
Face masks and social distancing will be enforced as before the lockdown, i.e., students and staff will all be expected to wear facemasks in the common areas of the College, unless medically exempt or otherwise.
We therefore expect all students to return to College on Monday 8th March. Details of the internal asymptomatic testing within the College will be sent as soon as we have further clarification from the local health authorities. It is also interesting to note that some of our teachers and staff have now been vaccinated, which is likely to increase in pace as the priority groups move down the age ranges.
There will no doubt be questions and possible changes to any of the above.
The College will publish further details about the reopening next week.
Statement on International GCSEs (4.2.2021)
Statement on International GCSEs
Cancellation of IGCSE Examination and Teacher Assessment
On Wednesday 3rd February, Pearson informed all international GCSE centres that their examinations (IGCSEs) will not take place this summer. As a result, students’ grades will be based on teacher assessment. For those wanting to sit the exams, IGCSE examination will available later in the year (most likely October/November).
Pearson have not yet provided details of how teacher assessment will be worked out, but it is expected that they will likely follow the findings of the Ofqual consultation, which will publish on 22nd February. Once this information is available, we will communicate this to you.
What does this mean for my child?
Your child will NOT have to sit for any examination for this summer 2021. Instead, the College will be awarding each student a centre assessed grade. How this will be calculated and evidenced-based is yet to be fully revealed, but the College will carry on in terms of testing, setting of HWK and making formal and informal assessments of ability and progress. You will be informed as soon as any specific information becomes available on how teacher assessment is expected to be managed and recorded.
Can my child not have a teacher assessed grade and sit the exams later in the year?
Yes, you can decide to not take the opportunity to have a centre-assessed grade and sit the exam later in the year. The dates are yet to be published, but Pearson have committed to these examinations.
What should my child do now?
Carry on studying and working hard as they have been. It is vital that students do not lose focus, become complacent as teachers will have to assess their ability, competence, skills and subject knowledge in order to award a grade. Furthermore, it is vital that your child should have excellent attendance and engage with their teacher’s instructions and become motivated to complete the course.
Should you have any further questions, please contact me directly.
Head of GCSE & DSL
COVID-19 Notice for Private Candidates (11.1.2021)
Further to the announcement from the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson on 6th January 2021; it will not be possible for June 2021 GCSE, AS & A Level examinations to go ahead as normal this summer. The exam boards are waiting for details of what this means for independent learners/private candidates from the Government and Ofqual. Once the exam boards receive this information, it is then sent to exam centres. The regulator Ofqual has drawn up a range of contingency options and further details and consultations will begin this week. DGC is unable to guarantee when we will receive the outcome on the current situation from the exam boards.
We have received your online application, but have not sent you your invoice. All processing of any A level / AS level & GCSE June 2021 private candidate exam applications will be postponed until we receive further guidance from AQA, Edexcel and OCR.
Edexcel/Pearson have the intention to run International GCSEs (IGCSE) examinations in the summer June 2021as planned, in line with Public Health guidance. Please click on the link for further information https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/campaigns/pearson-covid-19/united-kingdom-covid-19-coronavirus-update.html. We will continue to process private candidate applications for Edexcel IGCSE examinations in June.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: we do not offer predicted or centre assessment grades for private candidates. Please refer to our terms and conditions https://www.davidgamecollege.com/238/terms-and-conditions regarding government cancellation of examinations, and your option of exam credit to defer your exam entry to Autumn 2021 (waiting for a decision from exam boards).
Please be patient with us and we will be in contact with you once we receive confirmation and guidance from the exam boards.
Thank you for your understanding.
COVID-19 Exams Information (7.1.2021)
Exam 2021 Cancellation: Position Statement
Teacher assessments will replace GCSE and A-level exams in England this summer, education secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed yesterday. The regulator, Ofqual, has drawn up a range of contingency options and further details and consultations will begin next week.
Although the College will wait for further information and consultation from Ofqual before it makes any more communications about how standardised assessment will take place, it is clear that students must engage fully in the curriculum and take all tests, homework and lessons extremely seriously. The College will provide the curriculum via Zoom and attendance will be closely monitored.
Once Ofqual has completed its consultation period and published further guidance, the College will provide a summary of the key points so that staff and students can better understand how standardised assessment will take place this year.
Any predicted grades (e.g. UCAS exam grades) are not centre assessed grades, rather they are predictions of future potential, based on an extrapolation of recent attainment.
According to Edexcel, International GCSEs examinations will still take place in summer, but the College is exploring the risks and uncertainties around this. We will be in touch as soon as we have more information.
COVID-19 Lockdown & Remote Learning (5.1.2021)
Lockdown & Remote Learning: College Statement
Following the announcement yesterday by the Prime Minister of a new lockdown in England from Wednesday 6th January, David Game College can now confirm the following:
- Online learning will commence for all students from 11thof January; Zoom links will be organised and sent in the coming days to all students
- Online Zoom-based classes will occur as per the existing timetable
- Summer 2021 exams will be cancelled
Details surrounding the assessments for summer exams should become available over the coming weeks. In the interim, it is essential that students take their remote learning and any online tests/HWKs seriously, as tests and mocks will become key elements in how students’ grades will be worked out. Details on when mock examinations will occur will be sent out in the coming days. Testing for COVID at the College, as previously announced, will now not take place during the week of 11th and will be rescheduled when the College re-opens.
The College emergency COVID-19 Committee is meeting today to coordinate efforts to ensure full access for all students to our curriculum.
We understand this is a very difficult time, but the College is committed to providing as many of its normal functions online as possible. Details of personal tutor groups, UCAS advice, the medical programme, and additional support and extra-curricular activities will all be given to students and parents once arranged, including SEN and mental health support. Should you have any issues in connecting and accessing the curriculum remotely please let us know as quickly as possible.
For further clarification, concerns or questions, please email: email@example.com
COVID-19 New Term Opening Update (30.12.2020)
Following on from the guidance given by the Secretary of State for Education today (Wednesday 30th) regarding the re-opening of educational establishments, David Game College will re-open as scheduled on 11th January for all students who will be taking examinations in the summer term 2021. Those students who are not taking their examinations in the summer term 2021 (i.e. 1st year A level students), should join their normal classes by Zoom from 11th of January, and physically return to the College on 18th of January.
All students taking January examinations from the 4th January should continue as per the agreed timetable, unless told otherwise.
The above information may be subject to change depending on the prevailing government advice.